I have never seen anything like this before. The above describes it very well. the abdomen looks like the top part of the pod, even with the characteristic beak and straw colour, and the wings look like pod walls that have separated in dehiscence. At the right time of year it would be fantastic camouflage. It sat for some hours on the outside surface of a door and when nudged did not want to fly - it just raised itself up on its legs. It has gone now.
Can anyone identify it, please?
It is a plume moth.
That's a general name referring to any of the species in the Pterophoridae family.
From your photo, we can't see enough to ID it properly.
It looks a bit like Adaina microdactyla, but that is not usually on the wing until May (http://ukmoths.org.uk/show.php?id=1849).
A bit more likely is Emmelina monodactyla
(that shows the first 50 of 158 photos; click the 'Next 50>>' link near the top to move to the next page, etc.)
Thank you. Yes, I think Emmelina monodactyla is the most similar to what I saw. None of the other species shown in your references have both the abdomen shape and colour I observed.
Is it known to make use of the potential camouflage I described?
I shall look out for the larvae and pupae now.
Re "Is it known to make use of the potential camouflage I described?"
...Not AFAIK. But I keeping coming across bits of mimicry in nature that are novel to me.
In my garden (in Cyprus), there are some moths that, when resting, look exactly like a bit of lizard poo - a little black squidge with a white bit at one end.
I wonder if you have seen clearwing moths...
Some of them are excellent mimics of wasps. This is a good example, though not from the UK,
Both my examples concern one organism making itself look like something of no interest or to steer clear of (as far as a predator is concerned). Your example concerns camouflage: a slightly different strategy.
As adults, moths have some of the most superb camouflage in nature. As somebody who has been studying moths for about fifty years, I am still fascinated by the variety of patterns and colours on moth wings and bodies. Having seen so many excellent examples of their camouflage, I often find myself wondering, when faced with a moth new to me, "What snippet of the environment is this chap copying?" I was delighted to find the lizard poo to explain one instance. But there are so many to which I have not found the answer.
While we're on the subject, do a Google image search for moth camouflage. I think moth camouflage is amazing.
Some of nice examples:
And, though not a moth, this is stunning
(Photo: Niharika Agarwal, from http://niharikaagarwallse.wordpress.com/tag/niharika-agarwal-haldiram/)
I seem to have wandered off-topic, but it is hard not to be distracted by this stuff!